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If You Can Virtualize, You Can Optimize

So many times I'm asked, "What's next with virtualization?" I find that somewhat funny, as I personally think we are never really done with the journey to virtualization. Whether there are bricks in the datacenter that cannot be virtualized for one reason or another or possibly the fear of moving the most critical applications to a virtualized platform, most real-world users never really finish.

My argument is that once everything is virtualized, it's time to optimize. The constant ebb and flow of the virtualized environment based on workload changes, organic growth, storage use and other events are all factors in gauging the overall state of the virtual infrastructure. Any positive impact to the environment that can make a 2 percent gain here, a 3 percent gain there and a 1 percent gain over there are all very welcome, especially if they can be done without additional cost.

I'll equate this to some experience I have at a previous role working as a solutions provider for one of the nation's largest retailers. The customer was always running around with calculators and stopwatches in the material handling environment. The logic was that if each system or facility could gain 2 percent efficiency, it would equate to the overall use of one system when that gain is aggregated across more than fifty systems in use.

Virtualization truly isn't very different. If small tweaks across a number of areas can improve detail performance measures, they may equate to an additional host's capacity to accommodate organic growth or give the environment enough headroom to allow a powered down host overnight with a feature such as VMware's Distributed Power Management feature.

Virtualization is all about the details, not the right-click. Now would be a good time to sharp-shoot the environment.

Posted by Rick Vanover on 12/16/2010 at 12:48 PM


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